Felt wool yarn has a soft texture similar to cashmere or silk. What makes it unique is the way it takes shape during felting – unlike regular yarns, which retain their original form. But despite its popularity, not everyone knows how to felt the wool yarn. And even those who do often don’t fully understand its concept.
Felting is a natural fibre craft technique where fine wool yarn or other fibres are shaped into flat sheets using water and friction. This creates a textile material with qualities such as warmth and absorbency. The technique was initially developed in Europe around 1000 AD. It has become a global craft trend, particularly amongst knitters and crafters.
Felting involves working the wool fibre into a dense, knitted, or crocheted mass. The result is durable, soft fabric that feels great against the skin. Felt wool yarn feels good against your skin. It helps control perspiration, keeping us dry and comfortable. It also has antibacterial properties. It reduces chaffing and itching caused by irritation.
What does Felting Serve As?
Putting the fibres in opposite orientations with respect to one another, agitating them, and applying pressure are the steps in the felting process to get the tiny barbs to interlock and produce a mat or felt fabric.
Why is Felting a Popular Technique?
Felting has become very popular lately thanks to its unique properties. The felting process involves beating or rubbing fibres together until they stick together into long strands. This creates a dense, durable fabric ideal for clothing and accessories. Felts are usually produced from natural materials like wool, silk, cotton, cashmere, mohair, alpaca, and angora rabbit fibre. They come in various weights, thicknesses, textures, and colors. These characteristics determine their durability, cost, elasticity, and other qualities. One of the main benefits of using felts is their ability to absorb sweat, which makes them good insulators against cold weather.
Tips to Consider While Felting Wool Yarn
Choose a Suitable Size of Wool Yarn
When you want to start felting, the first step is choosing a suitable wool size. You can use any type of wool yarn that you like, but if you choose too big a size, you will have to work on it for longer. If you choose a small size, you can finish it within a shorter period.
Prepare the Wool Yarn
Wool yarn should be washed before starting the process. It helps remove impurities from the yarn. After washing, dry the wool yarn thoroughly. Then cut off the excess length of the yarn.
Start by soaking the wool yarn in warm water. Soak the yarn for about 30 minutes. Make sure that the water temperature is between 60°C and 70°C.
Squeeze the Wool Yarn
After soaking the wool yarn, squeeze it gently. Do this until you see some air bubbles from the wool yarn.
Add a Little Bit of Soap
Add a few drops of liquid soap to the water. Mix well so that there are no lumps.
Keep Squeezing the Wool Yarn
Keep squeezing the wool yarn until the water starts flowing through the wool yarn. When the water flows through the wool yarn, stop squeezing the yarn.
Let the Wool Yarn Soak
Let the wool yarn soak for at least 10 hours. During this time, keep checking the progress of the felting process.
Dry the Wool Yarn
Dry the wool yarn after 10 hours. Use a hair drier or a clothes dryer. Turn the heat setting to low.
Repeat the Process
Repeat the above steps until you feel comfortable with the process.
The Bottom Line
Felting wool yarn is an ancient craft dating back centuries. Once considered a lost art, felting has become very popular due to its simplicity and ease. “Felting” the yarn is pretty simple once it’s done. All you need is some wool yarn, warm water, soap, a piece of cloth such as an old T-shirt, and a way to wash it all at home.